Winter Weather Tips

Winter weather is fast approaching. Here are some tips and information to help keep you informed, healthy, and safe this winter.

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

Walking to and from parking lots or between buildings during the winter can lead to slipping and falling on snow and ice. Slips and falls are some of the most frequent types of injuries that occur during the winter months. No matter how well the snow and ice is removed from parking lots or sidewalks, you will still encounter some slippery surfaces when walking outdoors in the winter.

Tips for walking in snowy and icy conditions:

  • Be Cautious – In cold temperatures, approach with caution and assume that all wet, dark areas on pavements are slippery and icy. Be extra careful when getting into or out of vehicles; hold onto the vehicle for support.
  • Put Your Best Foot Forward – Wear the right shoes, which means shoes with large treads or raised patterns. Non-slip rubber or neoprene are best. Avoid wearing boots or shoes with smooth soles and heels. You might even consider getting some traction devices for your shoes. The steel coils on the bottom give some grip with ice and allow for better balance.
  • Stay on the path – Walk in designated, cleared walkways as much as possible. Taking shortcuts over snow banks and other frozen areas can be hazardous.
  • Think like a penguin! – Point your feet out slightly like a penguin. Spreading your feet out slightly while walking on ice increases your center of gravity. Bend slightly and walk flat footed with your center of gravity directly over the feet as much as possible.
  • Keep your hands out of your pockets – Hands in your pockets while walking decreases your center of gravity and balance. You can help break your fall with your hands free if you do start to slip.

Slips and Falls, Reporting Incidents

Washington State University strives to provide safe and healthful working conditions in all operations, following applicable laws and regulations associated with the valued safety and health of our employees.

Our hope is that you will have a safe winter with no incidents or injures. However, if you do have a slip and fall, here’s what you need to know:

  • All workplace injuries should be reported to your supervisor immediately
  • Supervisors must report near misses, incidents not resulting in injury, and incidents resulting in injury/illness whether or not a worker compensation claim is filed.
  • WSU policy requires that all injuries be reported within twenty-four hours.

To report an injury or illness, please visit Workers’ Compensation to begin the process.

More information and instructions on Reporting Accidental Injuries and Work-Related Illnesses can be found in Safety Policies And Procedures Manual, SPPM 2.24

Inclement Weather and Suspended Operations Resources

As winter weather approaches, employees are encouraged to be aware of personnel processes for periods of inclement weather and for the possibility of suspended operations.

Human Resource Services (HRS) has posted many resources on the Inclement Weather & Suspended Operations website.

HRS has developed FAQs for all employee types with links to the appropriate policy. If you don’t find the answer to your questions here, please call HRS at 335-4521.

Snow Removal Information

Facilities Services/Operations for the Pullman campus has information related to snow removal, snow plow routes and no snow removal areas.

Facilities Services/Operations Winter Snow Removal for 2016 – 2017

Winter Driving Safety

Helpful tips from AAA – How to Go on Ice and Snow

Washington Pass Conditions: wsdot.wa.gov/traffic/passes/

Washington Road Conditions:

Call 511 on your phone or wsdot.wa.gov/traffic/511/

Idaho Road Conditions:

Call 511 on your phone or 511.idaho.gov/

Oregon Road Conditions: In Oregon

Call 511 on your phone or tripcheck.com/Pages/RCmap.asp?curRegion=0&mainNav=RoadConditions

To find additional resources and useful information visit the HRS website at: hrs.wsu.edu or call 509-335-4521 or e-mail hrs@wsu.edu .

Washington State University